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Problems & Solutions - Lexis at
Pre-Intermediate Level
by Emma Worrall
- lesson plan 1

Preliminary information

Main Aims:

1) To introduce the following vocabulary: (stages 4 and 5)
take after, get on with, look like, fall out with, look after, look up to, grow up with, split up with

2) To encourage students to infer the meaning of unknown vocabulary through context (stages 3, 4 and 5)

3) To introduce the concept of eight transitive inseparable multi-word verbs and encourage the students to create personal meaning from the verbs and draw their attention to the form of the verbs. (stage 5 & 7).

4) To highlight the word stress and connected speech patterns of the multi-word verbs (stage 6).

5) To give the students the opportunity to practise the new vocabulary at sentence level (stage 8)

Subsidiary Aims:

1) To encourage the students to use previously taught family vocabulary.
(stages 1, 2, 8 & 10).

2) To expose the students to less structured, freer text material to build students' confidence in dealing with more complex listenings.

3) To give the students the opportunity to produce the language in a long speaking turn.

Timetable Fit:

The students are currently studying the English File 2 course book for elementary learners. I feel it is a good level for them but sometimes (as they are quite a strong group) I feel they need something a little more challenging. In the past few lessons we have looked at adjectives for describing people (including family vocabulary). In the next unit we will be looking at some phrasal verbs.

Class Profile:

There are nine students in the group. Six of them have been together from the beginning, two joined the group after a month (they were originally in my other group of the same level) and one of the students joined only very recently (about a month ago). In general, the group was very quiet. They used to lower their voices to a whisper when they did speaking activities but recently they have become more confident. They are generally a strong group in most areas and they usually do their homework. The attendance levels have been quite good, however, recently some students have been coming very irregularly. Recently the students have been using more English to communicate between each other and not only with myself, which I have been actively encouraging. The students are between the ages of 16 and 40. Four of them are students at school or at university and want to improve their English levels for the future and the other four work and need English for their jobs. Despite the age range of the students, they get on very well.

Ana: She started in a different group of the same level with me in October then changed to this group. She is one of the weakest in the class in most areas and I think this is due to the fact that she missed lots of classes when she was in the other group of this level. However, she is quite confident when speaking.

Cecilia: She has recently joined the class. She is a fairly confident student and her speaking is probably her strongest area. She needs to work on her grammar as she has not studied since school.

Guillermo: One of the youngest students. He is very enthusiastic and works very hard in class. He uses lots of English in class and often helps his partner or peer corrects. His speaking level is better than his listening. His writing is always carefully planned out and he tends to check for mistakes. He needs English for his studies and he also likes travelling.

Jose: Jose has only just joined the class and so far he seems to be coping well with the level. His speaking seems to be fairly strong but it is too early to comment on his grammar, listening and writing levels.

Iñigo: The youngest in the class. He is a fairly fluent speaker but tends to make lots of mistakes. He has lots of passive vocabulary knowledge. He has travelled to England with his school and wants to go back to London for a longer stay.

Matilde: The oldest in the class. She is very enthusiastic and attends the classes regularly. Although she is a fairly fluent speaker she has very 'hard' Spanish pronunciation (particularly /j/, /h/ and /r/). Her listening is quite strong. She loves travelling and occasionally needs English for her work.

Mercedes: She is very quiet in class but she has a good range of structures and vocabulary. She has to use English on the telephone and she frequently travels abroad. She sometimes struggles with the listening exercises. This maybe because she deals with mainly Italian speakers of English on the telephone.

Mouna: She is from Syria and so English is her third language after Arabic and Spanish. She has lots of Spanish interference when she speaks. She is a confident speaker but she often lacks sensitivity towards the other students and tends to answer for other students when I am asking individuals for answers. As this was starting to create a bit of a negative atmosphere among some of the class members, I have been very careful to let her know that she must let the others speak. She has lots of fossilised English errors and it is difficult, even in controlled practise, to get her to use grammar structures that we are doing in class. This is evident in her homework too, where she will use the structures that she feels are correct without following the model or example answer. She uses English quite often in her job.

Tatiana: She is repeating the level and has only recently joined the class. She seems to have a very low attendance so far. As she is Russian and also learning Spanish she has lots of Spanish interference when she speaks English. She is very hardworking in class and seems to take the classes very seriously. She often answers the questions that I direct at other students.

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